Contact Us


College of Science
phone: (208) 885-6195
fax: (208) 885-6904
office: Mines 321

Mailing Address
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3025
Moscow, ID 83844-3025

Past Winners & Participants

2013 Winners and Participants

Undergraduate Category

  • First Place: Liz Brandon (Microbiology),
    The Relationship Between Respiratory Viruses and Host Defense Protein, BST-2.
    Faculty mentor: Tanya Miura
  • Second Place: Shannon Mecham, (Biochemistry),
    Characterization of a Photosynthetic Bacteria-Feeding Euglenid Protozoan.
    Faculty mentor: Doug Cole

Graduate Category

  • First Place: Shuai Li (Neuroscience)
    Developmental Shaping: a study of Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecules in the mouse retina.
    Faculty mentor: Peter Fuerst
  • Second Place: Thao Vo (Chemistry)
    New Energetic Roles of Halogenated 1,1-Diamino-2,2-Dinitroethene (FOX-7) and Azo-bis(diahaloFOX) as Energetic Materials and Hypergolic Oxidizers.
    Faculty mentor: Jean’ne M. Shreeve

Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society Award

  • Brooke Anderson (Chemistry graduate student)
    Invader Nucleic Acids - High Affinity DNA Targeting using 2’-Amino DNA Analogs.
    Faculty mentor: Patrick Hrdlicka


Shannon MacKenzie
Investigating a Distant World
Shannon MacKenzie’s research subject is far from her lab – in fact, it’s more than 1 billion kilometers away. She works in the lab of Jason Barnes, an associate professor of physics, and is part of a team of UI student and faculty researchers studying Titan. “I come into work every day and get to look at these lakes and seas that are on the surface of another planet,” MacKenzie says.
» Read more about Shannon MacKenzie and her work on Titan
Michael France
Exploring the World of Bacteria
Michael France, a doctoral student in the bioinformatics and computational biology graduate program, studies how bacterial populations’ growth rates and spatial structuring affect their evolutionary trajectories. One of his ongoing projects is comparing slow- and fast-growing bacteria to see how their populations change. His work so far indicates that slower populations show signs of having greater diversity.
» Read about Michael France and his research
Leslie Nickerson
Positive Reaction
Leslie Nickerson’s experiment was supposed to last two weeks. More than a year later, she’s still working on it. Magolan, an assistant professor of chemistry, had speculated the reduction might work, but didn’t realize it would work incredibly well. “It’s really exciting to me to be able to do something in a way no one’s ever done before,” says Nickerson
» Read more about Leslie Nickerson's work in the lab

2012 Winners and Participants

Profiles of some of this year's participants are available below. The winning posters at 8th annual expo are:

Undergraduate Division

  • First Place: Kaitlyn Miller (Biology)
    Another one bites the dust? A framework for confirming extinction of retrotransposition
  • Second Place: Lygia Pereira (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology)
    Collection and long-term storage of human microbiome samples using FTA paper

Graduate Division

  • First Place: Isaiah Gyan (Chemistry)
    GUITAR, a new form of carbon for electrochemical applications
  • Second Place: Pavitra Roychoudhury (Bioinformatics and Computational Biology)
    Slow and steady wins the race: bacteriophage evolution on surfaces

Sigma Xi Research Society Award

  • Daisuke Kobayashi (Geology)
    Pushing Panama: ridge and block collision drive western Caribbean deformation



Isaiah Gyan in the lab.
Isaiah Gyan
Investigating the Potential Applications of a New Carbon Material
For Isaiah 'It's all about school," inside the research lab and outside. Besides working on a substance called GUITAR, Isaiah is this year’s Cooley-Juve Award for Teaching Excellence in the Chemistry Department and Wellgates International Distinguished Scholar.
» Learn more about Isaiah's research
Kali Turner in the lab.
Kali Turner
Undergraduate Research In Her Grandfather's Footsteps
Kali's granfather was a fisheries biologist in Malawai in central Africa. Her research includes studying the reproductive success of cichlid fish from Lake Malawi and the effect of ocean acidification on the olfactory function of walleye pollack.
» Learn more about Kali's research
Pavitra Roychoudhury in front of her display board..
Pavitra Roychoudhury
Researching Viral Evolution
Pavitra experienced her first snow when she arrived from Singapore in 2009. Despite the snow, it was her interest in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program that brought her to the University of Idaho.
» Read more about Pavitra's research
Savannah Patterson in the lab.
Savannah Patterson
Savannah's interst in medicine began when she started nursing school. Her research in Onesma Baleba's lab is investigation the effectiveness of a tree bark extract from sub-Sarhran Africa to treat diarrhea.
» Learn more about Savannah and her research

2011 Winners and Participants

Profiles of some of the participants are available below. The winning posters at 7th annual expo are:

Undergraduate Division

  • First Place: Nick Weires (Chemistry)
    Multi Component Clay-Catalyzed Syntheses of Pharmaceutically Relevant Heterocycles
  • Second Place: Amanda Williams (Microbiology)
    Phase Variation Anomallies Resulting from Disruption of Hybrid Histidine Kinase Response Regulator hhkY in Myxoccocus xanthus

Graduate Division

  • First Place: Yaqun Xie with co-authors Isaiah Gyan and Haoyu (Chemistry)
    Graphene Paper Synthesized by Thermolyzed Asphalt Reaction (TAR)
  • Second Place: Roxana Hickey (Bioinformatics & Computational Biology)
    Investigating Diversity and Ecology of Lactobacillus iners in the Vaginal Microbiota

Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society Awards

  • Undergraduate: Alexander Peterson (Geography)
    Plant Phenology, Late Spring Freezes, and Climate Change
  • Graduate: Megha Karki (Chemistry)
    Aerobic Oxidation Catalyzed by Clay: Rapid Green Synthesis of Heteroaromatic Scaffolds
Kirk Nazum and Travis Kelsay
Geology students investigate geothermal energy potential
Kirk is researching geothermal potential on the east coast. Travis is investigating geothermal potential in the Rio Grande Rift.
» Read more about Kirk's and Travis's projects
Casey Cook
Physics graduate student examines tectonic forces on Titan
Casey's research involve the large dark scars on the face of Saturn's moon Titan.
» Read more about Casey's research

2010 Winners and Participants

Undergraduate Division

  • First Prize: Mason Frederickson (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology)
    Identification of food pathogen DNA using nucleic acid probes
    Faculty mentors: Patrick Hrdlicka (Chemistry) and Rod Hill (Animal and Veterinary Science)
  • Second Prize: Ryan Simmons (Biology / Psychology)
    Enhanced Stability of a Drug Resistance Plasmid Through Coevolution With its Bacterial Host
    Faculty mentor: Eva Top (Biological Sciences)

Graduate Division

  • First prize: Jency Pricilla Sundararajan (Physics)
    Photoconductivity set-up for studying the electrical properties of individua Gallium nitride nanowires
    Faculty mentor: Dave McIlroy (Physics)
  • Second prize: Ishwar B. Niraula (Physics)
    Gas Phase Interactions with Gold Nanoparticle Decorated Gallium Nitride Nanowires by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy
    Faculty mentor: Dave McIlroy (Physics)

Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society Award

  • Jacob R. Bow (Mathematics, Chemical Engineering)
    Widespread Organic Evaporite Deposits on Saturn's Moon Titan
    Faculty mentor: Jason W. Barnes (Physics)



Brian Hare
Generation of Ball Lightning through a Dual Core Plasma Model
Brian Hare - Physics Junior
Ball lightning is a mysterious weather phenomenon, appearing as a bright spherical object.
» Read more about Brian's project.
Renee Breedlovestrout
Paleoclimate Analysis of the Chuckanut Formation Using Fossil Plants
Renee Breedlovestrout - Geology Doctoral Student
This study derives paleoclimate temperatures using fossil leaves for the Chuckanut Formation, outlining the most detailed assessment of northwestern Washington to date.
» Read more about Renee's project.
Eric Creedon
Climate and Outbreaks of the Mountain Pine Beetle
Eric Creeden - Geography Graduate Student
This study reports mean climate conditions prior, during and following outbreaks as well as variability among locations.
» Read more about Eric's project.

2009 Winners

Undergraduate Division

  • First Prize: Roxana Hickey (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology)
    Changes in vaginal microbial community composition with tampon use during menstruation
  • Second Prize: Daisuke Kobayashi (Geology)
    Analysis of lineation patterns in the martian magnetic field

Graduate Division

  • First prize: Renee Breedlovestrout (Geology)
    Preliminary Observations on the Floral Diversity in the Early Tertiary Chuckanut Formation, Northwest Washington, USA
  • Second prize: Julie M. Hughes (Biology)
    The Role of Coevolution in Plasmid Host-Range Shifts

Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society Award

  • Doug Torrance (Mathematics)
    Using graph theory to classify arrangements of four planes in projective 4-space